NHL: Rask may retire, Eichel nears return, Matthews escapes injury, and more
The NHL is back in full swing after All-Star weekend and we already have some big storylines coming out of the break.
A report late yesterday indicated that Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is contemplating retirement after his latest hip injury. Over in Vegas, Jack Eichel is now remarkably taking a full practice with contact just a few months post neck surgery in November.
Let’s jump into the news.
NHL: Tuukka Rask may retire
According to a new report in The Athletic by Fluto Shinzawa, Rask is expected to end his comeback and possibly retire in the coming days.
“I think that’s for Tuukka to comment on his stature,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said last night. “I was told he wouldn’t practice this week. I don’t think that’s changing at all. So if he has something to say, I think I’ll leave it to him.”
Rask last played against the Anaheim Ducks on January 24 and landed on injured reserve after feeling pain in his surgically repaired hip. If he does end his comeback bid, Rask finishes the season with a record of 2-2, a 2.28 GAA, and an 844 SV%.
Should Rask announce his retirement he will end his career with a record of 308-165-66 with 52 shutouts, a 2.28 GAA and a .921 save percentage in 564 games. All with Boston since making his NHL debut in 2007.
He holds Boston’s franchise record for most games played and wins by a goaltender.
Jack Eichel nears return
Center Jack Eichel practiced in full with the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.
“He’s been cleared for contact,” head coach Peter DeBoer said. “That’s the first day of full contact he’s had, is it 17 or 18 months or something like that? So now it’s a matter of, how does he respond? Do a little bit more the next day, a little bit more the next day. Hope for no setbacks.”
Eichel skated at the beginning of January in Charlotte, N.C. for the first time since his Nov. 12 spinal surgery. He had his first non-contact skate with the Knights on January 11, and DeBoer said he was still a month or two away.
There is still no definitive timetable per the Golden Knights, but we are now in the advanced stages of his eventual return.
The No. 2 overall draft pick in 2015 out of Boston University, Eichel racked up 139 goals and 355 points in 375 games for the Sabres.
Auston Matthews escapes injury
Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews felt “pretty good” Tuesday after taking a hit to the head Monday night, coach Sheldon Keefe said.
Matthews fell while battling Carolina Hurricanes forward Nino Niederreiter in the third period and was accidentally kneed in the back of the head by another player.
Keefe said Tuesday was already a scheduled day off for Matthews after he competed in the All-Star Game over the weekend. The Leafs don’t play again until Thursday night at the Calgary Flames.
“He came in today feeling pretty good, so that’s a really good sign obviously for his status in terms of practicing tomorrow,” Keefe said. “We’ll see how he comes in, but today was a very good day.”
A look at available Senators players. Maple Leafs trade deadline approach, and a Rangers offer for J.T. Miller? Read more.
-Field Level Media contributed to this article.